Winter 2020 Learning Lab

Learning Lab Classes

February 8 – March 14

Location: Wydown Middle School
6500 Wydown Blvd., 63105

Two Sessions: 9:30 – 11:00 and 11:10 – 12:40

Sign up for one – or both!
The cost is $100/session, payable by check or online (if online, a small service fee will be added).

Three of our classes are full and have closed!
The Stock Market Game, Scratch Coding, and Session 1 of Geology Rocks.

Register Online

– or –

Winter Brochure

Advanced Robotics Using LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Kits
Session 2:  Grades 4–6
Build and program working robots which respond to commands and to their environments, including color sensors. With LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robotics kits, you can even design your own robot from scratch! Program your creation on laptops using multiple sensors, motors, and intelligent units. Make your robot ‘see,’ ‘hear,’ avoid obstacles, speak, and otherwise interact with its environment. Work with a team and apply the engineering process to test solutions based on real-life robotics technology. New challenges for ‘repeat programmers.’
Instructor:  Lisa Hummel

Animals: Biology, Ecology & Habitats
Session 1:  Ages 4–5  |  Session 2:  Grades K–1
Uncover scientific facts about animals around the world! What special qualities make it possible for penguins to live in Antarctica? How is the skin of a snake different from the skin of an elephant? What color are zebras when they are born and what are baby zebras called? Experiment with ways to keep a cold-blooded animal warm and test your hypothesis using thermometers. Create habitats for favorite animals. Design your own book of animal information! Biology, ecology, art, experiments & more!
Instructor: Beth Crites

*Art Challenge: Make It Like a Master   
Session 1:  Grades 1–2  |  Session 2:  Grades 2–3
Planning, design, creativity, technique, materials: Keys to artistic expression. How did the ‘greats’ do it? Follow the lead of 20th century artists. How do you consider structure and space in an architectural project that conveys what you think is important in life, like Frank Lloyd Wright? Create a textile house collage in the style of painter, sculptor, writer and performance artist Faith Ringgold. Dabble in mixed media ‘painting’ as you follow the work of Georgia O’Keefe. How many art styles and artistic periods did Pablo Picasso influence? Using various materials, “recycle” facial portraits or masks in his style. Find your own style and develop your technique through this hands-on art challenge!
Instructor:  Lisa Bader

Doings in the Desert
Session 1:  Ages 3–4  |  Session 2:  Ages 4–5
Which plants and animals live in the desert and how do they survive in such a harsh climate? Why do most deserts have sandy soil? Dig into deserts, as we discover how plants and animals have adapted to survive. Create a model of a saguaro cactus; which part could you eat? Plant succulents. Make works of art out of desert materials; lots of activities. Our doings in the desert will focus on the Sonoran Desert of the southwestern United States. Science, math, art, and literature guide our exploration!
Instructor:  Kristin Soifer

Engineering Solutions to Construction Challenges
Session 1:  Grades 4–5  |  Session 2:  Grades 6–8
Explore concepts of engineering and construction and apply them to practical structural challenges. Create an emergency shelter model with hinged panel construction; investigate transformations and form permutations. Construct a model bridge, make a crank out of straws, then use the crank to test your bridge support. Make a building using pattern blocks, then instruct someone else in how to follow your design. Create a 30-foot long marble run. Problem solving, design, development, testing – engage in the engineering process, and enjoy!
Instructor: John Bell

Even More LEGO-Powered, STEAM Fun
Session 2:  Grades 4–6
Are YOU powered by creative energy? Add STEAM ‘energy’ and let loose your LEGO talents! Work as engineer, architect, designer and construction specialist on your own projects. All new assignments! Your ‘blueprints’ may require some physics. Construction missions make the most of math. Plan, design, build, test – use the engineering process. Graphing, more experiments, creating a world for your LEGO people… So much fun, you’d never know this class is based on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts. It’s a LEGO-palooza!
Instructor:  Angela Rhodes

*Fossils & Paleontology 
Session 1:  Grades 3–4 |  Session 2:  Grades 5–6
Dig deeper than dinosaurs and discover more about paleontology! ‘Follow’ some fossilized tracks and decipher animal behavior including what they ate (if you find any coprolite fossils!). Build a stratigraphic column formation to explore how rock layers help to determine the date of a fossil. Develop a geological timeline based on fossils found around the world. How do paleontologists determine an animal’s skin or exterior using a fossil? Create fossils and then build a ‘museum exhibit’ to showcase them. What would a 400-million-year-old insect look like?
Instructor: Hannah Noack-Ruebling

*Geology Rocks our World!  SESSION 1 FULL!!
Session 1:  Grades K–1  |  Session 2:  Grades 1–2
Join our geologist’s journey and discover the unseen wonders beneath our feet! Experiment with rock formation (igneous to sedimentary to metamorphic), and create your own edible rock cycle. Take a closer look at tectonic plates as they float on top of hot molten rock. How does the process of plate tectonics create majestic landforms such as mountains, volcanoes, and ocean trenches? ‘Explore’ caves carved out by water over hundreds of thousands of years, and create stalactites and stalagmites. Learn about crystals and geodes as you create your own. Our hands-on geological adventure is sure to ROCK your world.
Instructor:  Kara Viviano

Greek Mythology & the Answers to Life’s Mysteries
Session 2:  Grades 5–8
Explore the stories of the Greek gods for clues to ancient life and natural events. How many gods must you pacify for a successful crop? Discover the origins of gods in the Bronze Age and how some of their powers overlapped, like Helios and Apollo. How many muses and graces are there and what are their areas of expertise? What is the impact of Homer’s epic poem on the ancients? Consider Pythagoras and Archimedes as engineers and philosophers. What contributions did other philosophers make to ancient beliefs? How do magic and astrology relate to mythology?
Instructor: Art Koenig

Harry Potter:  Good and Evil in the First Four Books
Session 1:  Grades 3–5
Explore the wizarding world of Harry Potter! Magic, werewolves, vampires, trolls and the epic battle of Good versus Evil! Who are the heroes and villains? Why does love protect Harry? How does the magic wand reflect the personality and area of expertise of the characters? Would you debate the rules of Quidditch? Write notes to your classmates using your quill pen and parchment. Make your own judgments as we pose questions, play games and indulge in trivia devoted to the themes found in the first four books.
Instructor: Art Koenig

Make Your (Chess) Move!
Session 1:  Grades 5–8  |  Session 2:  Grades 1–4
Want to enhance and advance your chess stance? Tactics can make or break your chess game – will you use pins and forks? Or skewers? Look at advanced skills as well, such as attacking on opposite wings and end game strategies. Are you skilled at defensive play? Make your best opening move, keep your wits about you, and aim for checkmate of your opponent! Side benefits of the game: Problem-solving skills, coping with the consequences of your decisions, and good sports behavior.
Instructor: Stephen Randoll

*Math Excursions: Beyond the Norm   
Session 1:  Grades 3–5  |  Session 2:  Grades 6–8
Take an outside-the-box view of math, as we explore questions such as: Can animals do math? Where can we find math in nature? Why are there so many patterns in math? Work with a mechanical computer, then make your own following Napier’s Bones and the Genaille-Lucas ruler. Make a sphere using squares. Discover what the Fibonacci Sequence tells us about the math of nature, architecture and art. Calculate the value of pi using toothpicks (Buffon’s needle). Practice Pascal’s Triangle to explore binomial theorem and probability. Make art with a pendulum and look at topics in topology with Mobius strips. Go beyond the norm with our mental math leaps!
Instructor:  Dave Cole

*Molecular Exploration of the Senses
Session 1:  Grades 5–6  |  Session 2:  Grades 3–4
Is chemistry a full-body experience? Join us on a chemist’s inquiry of molecules and your senses! What chemical compounds can our noses detect and how? What factors impact the aroma? How does flavor affect the senses of taste and smell? What taste receptors engage as we enjoy slushies? How does that help you identify the chemical compounds of the food you eat? Experiment with the DNA of fruit. What is the pH level of stomach acid? Make a spectroscope to understand the chemistry behind sight. Chemical experiments galore!
Instructor:  Morgan Moody

Robotics Using LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Kits
Session 1:  Grades 2–3
Programming basics using LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 kits! Consider a real-world problem, create your hypothesis, program your solution and test your results! Build a rover-type robot to handle some basic tasks and experiment with other basic features of the kits. Work with a team and apply the engineering process to your project. Problem-solving skills and creativity using robotics technology prove that the possibilities are endless. Repeat ‘programmers’: Come solve new problems! Programming will be done on iPads.
Instructor: Lisa Hummel

*Scratch Coding with Music & Sound  FULL!!
Session 2:  Grades 2–4
Mix some musical rhythms, create beats and melodies – using Scratch graphical programming concepts! Write code that plays music and animates backgrounds and characters. Create a DJ mixer! Explore game-physics-based sound effects, and make a music video. Tap your design, logic, creativity and problem-solving abilities. Basic coding and engineering concepts. No prior programming experience required! With Scratch, students “snap” together blocks of commands that the computer can carry out. Scratch allows for complexity or simplicity based on your skill level.
Instructor:  Chuck Baker

*STEAMy Activities Beat Winter Chills!
Session 2:  Ages 3–5
Make elephant toothpaste, ice cream in a bag, marshmallow towers, and other unusual combinations, as we experiment, create, build, compare, and have fun! Discover the results of mixing vinegar and baking soda or solids and liquids. Test materials to determine if they sink or float in water, and participate in an ice-melting race. What happens when you turn over a glass of water? Construct STEAM boxes and egg beds, and do tie-dye art. Explore your senses through a taste-testing experiment and make a smelling jar. Dress for mess and prepare for plenty of STEAM projects!
Instructor: Kara Horton

*The Stock Market Game™: Investing in Fun!  FULL!!
Session 1:  Grades 5–8
Enter the online world of stock trading, investing and finance through this simulation game! Play in teams and compete against portfolios across the state. How will you manage your hypothetical cash account of $100,000? Maintain your portfolio stocks, bonds, mutual funds and more through research, collaboration with your peers, and teamwork. Interactive charting and graphing tools equip you with ‘day-to-day’ updates. Explore the global capital marketplace and stay on top of current events and global news that affects your investments. Build your leadership, organization, and negotiation skills as you help your team build a healthy portfolio.
Instructor: Chuck Baker